The fruit is reddish or dark purple in color. Due to its good taste mangosteen is also known as queen of fruits. The place of origin is not known but it mangosteen is said to have been first domesticated in Southeast Asian countries. Thailand, Burma, India and Vietnam are some of the countries where it was cultivated since many years. Apart from these countries it is now grown in other Asian countries and some African countries.
Mangosteen does not have many varieties except for the one which is found in Sulu Islands. It is an ultra-tropical plant which needs humidity, rainfall and cannot survive in long periods of drought. And it cannot be grown at very high altitude regions. Harvesting seasons vary on the basis of location and altitude. In India there are two seasons for harvest, monsoon period and between April and June. In Ceylon, the fruit season is from May to July for low altitude regions and for higher altitude regions the fruit ripens from July to August or August to September.
It seems that the people of Southeast Asia realized the medicinal value that this fruit had long time ago. Relying on it as a form of treatment to different medical conditions is the reason why scientists have continuously carried out studies and researches to confirm these healing allegations. So far the benefits of this fruit have been proved scientifically over the past 3 decades to be true.